Phillies Prospect Griff McGarry Cracks Baseball America Top 100 List
Phillies pitcher Griff McGarry has been named to Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospect list after a strong first half of the season at High-A Jersey Shore, in which he struck out 15 batters per 9 innings and earned him a recent promotion to AA-Reading.
McGarry, a 23-year-old right hander, was a 5th round pick of the Phillies in the 2021 MLB Draft out of the University of Virginia. Despite a stellar collegiate career at the plate and on the mound, his lack of control and questions about pitch quality hurt his value in the eyes of many scouts.
In his first full professional season, which has come mostly at the High-A level, McGarry has shined. In 46.2 innings pitching for Jersey Shore, he compiled a 3-3 record with a 3.86 ERA and 1.22 WHIP, while striking out 82 hitters compared to just 24 walks.
The statistic that gets most scouts and evaluators within the Phillies system excited is McGarry’s 15.8 strikeouts per 9 innings. For reference, Dylan Cease of the Chicago White Sox currently leads baseball with a ratio of 13.0/9. Phillies starting pitchers Zach Wheeler and Aaron Nola rank 10th and 12th respectively, with ratios of 9.8 and 9.6.
Back in June, McGarry made headlines when he struck out 13 hitters in a start against the Brooklyn Cyclones.
Relievers typically strikeout more batters, as they simply are able to throw harder, knowing they will only be pitching for an inning, or sometimes facing a single hitter. But what makes McGarry special, is that after starting the season throwing only a couple of innings per appearance, he is now featuring as a starting pitcher, while frequently lasting more than 5 innings.
The stellar performances and high marks from scouts have led many to believe that fans could see McGarry in South Philadelphia as early as this season. Last week rumors began swirling that the Phillies, who will be without starting pitchers Aaron Nola and Kyle Gibson in Canada because of their vaccination status, were considering calling him up to start against the Blue Jays.
Unfortunately, McGarry was recently placed on the 7-day Injured List due to a blister on his finger that seemed to cause him trouble in his first start at AA-Reading, as he was only able to toss 2.1 innings and allowed 3 earned runs.
Im actually a bit believed for McGarry, as I think starting him in Canada against the powerful Blue Jays lineup would be akin to throwing him to the wolves. It would be much smarter for the Phillies to introduce him to the increased demands of the show this September when rosters expand.
Whenever, McGarry makes his debut, it will be an exciting time for the Phillies organization, who now have three young blue-chip pitching prospects, after struggling to develop talent from within their system over the past decade.
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Mandatory Photo Credit: Jersey Shore BlueClaws